Can You Listen to Sonos With Headphones? (Yes, this is how)


Smiling woman listening to headphones

No matter how much you invest in a full-fledged speaker system, headphones are a whole different world. The feeling of music directly being fed to your ears is a unique experience that supports the entirety of the headphone industry. So even if you are rocking a pair of Sonos in your living room, the craving for a set of headphones to enjoy that sweet music is not impractical. Rather it’s welcoming and in this article, I will discuss how you can achieve the same.

Yes, you can listen to Sonos with headphones. However, it’s a bit of a roundabout process. You will need a few extra tools such as a Sonos connect. Because even though Sonos speakers have an AUX input, it will not work unless you pair them with a Sonos Connect.

I know a few people who have had trouble arranging the setup. In some cases, the music does not play and in others, the speakers fail to connect with the app. If you are one of them, I suggest you reset the entire setup. Do a factory/hard reset before following my instructions. Applying this strategy over a previous setup can cause problems, which will needlessly overcomplicate the situation. 

With that out of the way, let’s jump into the solution.

Steps to listening to Sonos with headphones

Before starting, note that you need a Sonos Connect to pull this off. Now the steps:

1. Set up your Sonos Connect as a room. 

2. Open your Sonos app and set the Line-out to auto. 

3. Plug in the headphone’s wireless Bluetooth transmitter to the Audio-out of the Sonos Connect. The audio-out can be an RCA or an Optical one. 

4. Now select the headphone as the speaker. This ensures the sound actually comes out of your headsets. 

5. Open the Sonos app and select your favorite streaming service.

6. Put on your headphones and enjoy. 

This is the only workaround available for listeners who want to enjoy music with headphones on a Sonos. The Sonos Connect may seem like an extra expense, but it’s quite a useful device that you can use to connect your Sonos speakers to other speakers and amplifiers directly via wire.

So I suggest not thinking of the Sonos Connect as an extra expense. It’s more like a future investment for when you want to upgrade your music system with speakers other than the Sonos because all Sonos speakers can be quite expensive. However, with Sonos Connect you can connect any speaker to the Sonos without hiccups. 

I know a couple of friends who use this setup. They might have bought a Sonos, but they are not throwing away the old rig. Instead, they hook it up with the Sonos Connect and enjoy both sweat-free. 

How to set up Sonos Connect?

You will need the right cables (RCA, Digital Coax, or Optical). After plugging in your Sonos and the amplifier/speaker, you will have to use the app to sync both devices. 

Setting up Sonos Connect can be a bit tricky. We live in times where we connect devices with the tap of a single button. However, the Sonos requires a bit of a setup which I will discuss below:

1. If your amplifier or AVR has digital inputs, plug in the digital coaxial cable into Connect’s digital output. The other end should be connected to the input end of the receiver. It’s the Connect, it’s the orange labeled port.

2. You can even use a TOSLINK optical cable. For instance, the output from the TOSLINK digital audio port on your Sonos Connect goes into the audio input of the home theater/amplifier/audio device. 

3. The Sonos Connect also supports analog inputs. Try using the standard RCA audio cable to connect both devices. 

4. Finally if you are using a computer, then you will need an RCA Y-adapter cable (stereo miniplug to dual RCA male connectors).

5. Once everything is connected and ready, you will have to sync both devices. 

6. Install the Sonos app on your smartphone.

7. Select ‘set up new Sonos system’.

8. Sign in to your existing account, or create a new one if you are doing this for the first time. Tap on continue for the next step.

9. Select ‘standard setup’ for the Sonos Connect to continue. Once chosen tap on ‘next’. 

10. Make sure your Sonos Connect is powered on and ready before getting to this step. 

11. Wait a few seconds until you see a green flashing light on your Sonos Connect. Once you see the light, tap on Continue to proceed to the next step.

12. If you do not see the green light tap on ‘I am unsure about the light’.

13. Now the Sonos Controller app will start looking for Sonos Connect. 

14. Once detected, the app will automatically begin configuring the Sonos Connect. Do not exit the app during this stage. 

15. The app will now configure the Sonos Connect with your Wi-Fi network. Tap on next. 

16. A temporary network is created and the app prompts you to connect your smartphone to it. 

17. Open Wi-Fi settings and tap on ‘SONOS’. Return to the Sonos app.

18. The Sonos Connect is now connected to your home network and ready for use. 

Your Sonos Connect is now ready to play on other speakers. This may seem a lot, but once you get down to it, the setup is quite simple. 

F.A.Q.

Will my headphone’s sound quality improve if I Sonos connect them with Sonos speakers?

The sound quality of your headphone depends on the manufacturer. Connecting cheap set headphones to a Sonos will not magically improve the overall sound quality. All Sonos is doing is rerouting the audio data. The sound may be improved a bit, but you will not notice much of a difference. 

How do you play music through Bluetooth headphones while listening to Sonos speakers?

You will need a Sonos Connect to plug in the Bluetooth transmitter of your headphone. Once in place, you have to sync it using the Sonos app on your smartphone. Once everything is done the audio will play directly into your headphones. 

Sonos Connect
Sonos Connect

I personally recommend Sonos Connect because, in the future, I can connect a multitude of devices including other speakers or amplifiers of an entire home theater system directly into the Sonos Connect. 

Is Sonos sound quality good on headphones?

Sonos’ sound quality on headphones depends on their quality. Cheaper headphones will fail to replicate the same audio effects as in the Sonos speakers themselves. If you want to experience good audio quality, get better headphones. 

Can you listen to Sonos with Bose headphones?

Yes, you can listen to Sonos with Bose headphones and also with headphones from other brands.

Does Sonos sound good?

Although it’s a matter of personal preference, Sonos is regarded as one of the leading wireless audios systems for homes. They may not be as well-known as Bose and some other brands, but since they have been on the market, the company has garnered quite a reputation. 

Conclusion

The ease of listening to music on headphones will not be out of fashion anytime soon. Although some may question the use of the headphones even with a full home theater in place, they are unaware of the in-depth auditory experience that is possible only on headphones.

Hopefully, this guide has helped in resolving your queries about connecting your headphone to a set of Sonos speakers. Until next time. Happy listening!

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Difference between Bluetooth versions

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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